India has been a proud home to nearly 100 National Parks. Amongst them is the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve situated in the dense canopy of Bandhavgarh forest, which has the highest known tiger population in India. The reserve was established in 1968 from an old hunting ground used by the Maharaja of Rewa. After the state of Rewa merged with Madhya Pradesh, the forest of Bandhavgarh came under the jurisdiction of Madhya Pradesh and laws were enacted initially to protect the tigers. Now, there is an abundant of biodiversity including wide variety of mammals, reptiles and birds. The most famous species of them is the Bengal Tiger, which is also the national animal of India. It is estimated that there are more than 2000 individuals of this species in India although it has been declared endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and travelling Opportunities
Tourists flocking Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve can enjoy panoramic views of flora and fauna against the background of the stunning landscape. Apart from tiger, other common animal species seen are leopard, wolf, jackal, fox, hyena, mongoose, wild dog, jungle cat, boar, deer and the famous Hanuman Langur. The diverse terrain provides shelter to many migratory birds. Most notable ones are raptors and vultures. Other species like heron, stork, eagle, owl, cuckoo, lark, swallow, woodpecker and kingfisher can also be spotted.
The insect and reptile life in Bandhavgarh is amazing with numerous types of butterflies, moths and snakes. The tours are generally multiple day-night packages starting from the capital New Delhi. The tour guides are experts and veterans in their profession. Tourists wishing for a shorter tour can opt for a Jeep Safari inside the reserve. Typically, they are done in an open jeep allowing adventure and fun, especially for the photography lovers. Lately, Elephant Safari has gained immense popularity. However, it needs special permission from the Field Director of Bandhavgarh.
The Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is open from 1st October till 15th June and remains closed during the remaining season because of monsoon. Many tourists prefer to visit during the winter months of November to February in order to avoid the unbearable summer. However, during summer the vegetation remains dry and allows for easy sighting of tigers. The reserve is accessible by road, train and air. The nearest airports are Jabalpur & Khajuraho and routine flights operate to all major towns in India. There are many resorts in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve ranging from high-end luxury to standard. The price of a room in a standard resort can range from ₹ 5500 to ₹7500 per night, whereas luxury ones can cost up to ₹46500 per night during the peak season. These include a cottage with all the comforts.
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The Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is protected by Project Tiger and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Hunting of wild animals is prohibited by the Act. Tiger is on the verge of extinction due to loss of habitat, random poaching, inbreeding and disease. Strong conservation measures will save the animal.